"Welcome to our kingdom. Now who are you and what do you want?"
―Jix Hekyl greets Merei Spanjaf[src]

Jix Hekyl was a male Pantoran who attended the Vocational School for Institutional Security on the planet Lothal during the reign of the Galactic Empire. In addition, Hekyl worked as a courier for the Gray Syndicate, a minor crime syndicate operating in Lothal's Capital City. Hekyl spent his time at the school in a computer lab on the lowest level, where he and some of his friends were visited by the new student Merei Spanjaf when she needed help with intrusion countermeasures. Hekyl at first laughed at the girl alongside his friends, but later told her she was looking for a snooper program and introduced her to a chain of individuals who led her to the Gray Syndicate.

Using the snoopers supplied by the Gray Syndicate, Merei managed to hack into the Imperial Transportation Ministry and acquire the information she had been looking for. However, one of the snoopers failed to delete itself and the Imperial authorities launched an investigation into the data breach. In response, Jix tried to help Merei to evade the Imperial authorities. While he managed to changed her school photo, they failed to delete her repeater service account since it was held at a secure data storage warehouse. Jix survived an Imperial raid which decimated the entire Gray Leadership but was later arrested by the Imperial authorities following a failed second attempt to change Merei's school photo.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Juggling school and slicing[edit | edit source]

"Look, I’ve done some programming work now and then—stuff I can’t put on my school transcript, you know what I mean? I know a guy who knows a guy who maybe could help you with it. But that kind of help doesn’t come cheap, or without strings attached."
―Hekyl warns Spanjaf about what she is about to do[src]

The Pantoran boy Jix Hekyl attended the Vocational School for Institutional Security on the planet Lothal around five years before the Battle of Yavin. While there, some of the programming work he did was of a shady nature that meant he could not include it on his school transcript. Hekyl spent time in a gloomy computer lab on the school's lowest level with six other students, some of who wore tattoos and had unnaturally colored hair.[1] During his free time, he also worked as a slicer for the Gray Syndicate, a minor crime organization led by Yahenna Laxo.[2]

Helping Merei Spanjaf[edit | edit source]

"I never should have gotten you involved with him. Now I worry about you all the time."
"I got myself involved with him. You were just the guy who made the introductions. Anyway, it was worth it—lives were at stake."
―Jix and Merei discussing the latter's predicament[src]

When a new V-SIS student named Merei Spanjaf needed to learn about intrusion countermeasures in order to monitor information at the Imperial Transportation Ministry, she visited the computer lab and was greeted by Hekyl, who asked who she was. When Spanjaf introduced herself and asked for help, the Pantoran and the other students joked about only working for the good of the Empire, and then laughed at her for being interested in trying something so complex while she was new. Having received no help, Spanjaf left the lab, but Hekyl caught up with her outside and claimed that he had only been joking before, explaining she was looking for a snooper program but warning her that using them was illegal. When Spanjaf persisted in her interest, Hekyl directed her toward an ex-student of the school named Bandis Yong, who in turn sent her to an old shopkeeper who put her in touch with the criminal Gray Syndicate.[1]

Subsequently, the Gray Syndicate's boss Laxo agreed to supply Merei with the snoopers in return for enlisting her services as a courier. While Merei succeeded in using the snoopers to infiltrate the Imperial data network on Lothal, one of the snoopers failed to delete itself and was subsequently detected by the Imperial authorities who launched an investigation. To complicate matters further, Merei's mother Jessa was made the head of the anti-intrusion team investigating the break-in. During her second visit to the Gray Syndicate's headquarters, Merei discovered that Jix was also working for the crime syndicate by helping to man their network terminals. Upon seeing Merei, Jix blushed in embarrassment out of guilt for getting Merei into debt with the Gray Syndicate.[2]

Later, Jix met Merei at school after she had returned from delivering messages to Laxo's associates. After learning that Laxo had made Merei his courier, he expressed regret at getting her involved with the Gray Syndicate. Merei then responded that it was her own fault for getting entangled with Laxo and that "it was worth it" since she had discovered the whereabouts of her boyfriend Zare Leonis' missing sister. Jix then quickly deduced that Laxo was only enlisting Merei's services as a courier because something had gone wrong. Merei then admitted that the Empire had manged to find one of her snooper programs.[2]

During their conversation, Jix came up with two ways to make it difficult for the Imperial authorities to track down Merei: switching her photo in the V-SIS records and erasing her account at the repeater service Bakiska's. Since Bakiska's data center on Lower Gallo was well-guarded, Jix and Merei settled for tampering with her V-SIS photo. They reasoned that it would make it impossible if not difficult for the witness at the Transportation Ministry to identify Merei, who had infiltrated the facility disguised as a school girl from Phelarion School. Using his computing skills, Jix switched Merei's V-SIS photo with that of Hestia Tarleton, a pupil at the Young Ladies' Seminary of Lothal Settlers.[2]

Later, Laxo rented Jix to a client for a special slicing job. Knowing that Jix had a good rapport with Merei, Laxo assigned her to escort him. Jix was also present when Laxo paid Merei a thousand credits for her services, a large sum. During the trip, Jix rode on Merei's jumpspeeder and held his arms around her waist to maintain balance. Despite Jix's infatuation for Merei, he was aware that she already had a boyfriend: Zare. For the next few days, Jix continued to hitch a ride to work with Merei. On one such trip, Jix and Merei discussed Governor Arihnda Pryce's recent crackdown in the light of the rebel attack on the Empire Day celebrations. As a result of the crackdown, one of Laxo's warehouses and two of his gambling clubs had been raided by Imperial stormtroopers. While other crime syndicates had been targeted, Jix mentioned that Laxo was unhappy since he owed credits to other more powerful gangsters and the raids had disrupted his flow of income.[2]

After Merei discovered that her mother's investigation team had narrowed the intrusion pattern from the Transportation Ministry to three repeater services, she contacted Jix to discuss her predicament. After Merei ruled out contacting Laxo for help, Jix came up with a plan to sneak a pulse-mag into Bakiska's warehouse in order to erase Merei's account data. Jix decided that they should bluff their way into the warehouse by claiming that they were on official business for Laxo. Having called a few favors, Jix had learned where the machine storing Bakiska's inactive and deleted accounts were stored.[2]

The following day, the two classmates put their plan into action and attempted to enter Bakiska's warehouse. However, they were apprehended by the local security thugs who evicted them from the premises. Since their actions had aroused the wrath of Laxo, Merei advised Jix to lie low while she dealt with Laxo herself. She also borrowed Jix's pulse-mag, which she used to delete that data stored at the Gray Syndicate's headquarters prior to an Imperial raid, which claimed the lives of Laxo and his associates. The sole survivor was Merei, who managed to mislead the authorities into believing that she had been kidnapped by the Syndicate in order to stop her parents' investigation into the Transportation Ministry data breach.[2]

Captured[edit | edit source]

"They asked you about what?"
"Repeater services and info-houses. You mean they didn't ask you about that stuff."
―Merei and Jix's last conversation before his arrest[src]

Following the Imperial raid on the Gray Syndicate's headquarters, Jix expressed anger towards his classmate Merei for her role in causing the deaths of several former associates. When he asked Merei whether she had tipped off the Imperial authorities, she admitted doing so but conceded that things had not turned out the way she had wanted. To allay Jix's concerns that multiple people had died, Merei responded that they were lucky to be alive and free of Laxo. She also saw it as a second chance for them to make a clean slate. Despite Merei's optimism, the two youths did not escape the gaze of the Empire for long.[3]

After a rebel cell known as the Spectres hijacked the Imperial Communications Center at Jalath, the Empire accelerated its crackdown on sedition and illegal activities on Lothal. Merei convinced an unhappy Jix to switch her V-SIS photo. Earlier, Merei had got Jix to switch her own photo with that of another student named Hestia Tarleton. However, Jix was unable to switch back the photos since the Imperial authorities had locked down the system. Despite their fears, Merei managed to pass through a meeting with an Imperial interviewer, who had been sent to their school to investigate illegal activities. The Imperial authorities had not been able to link Merei to the Transportation Ministry data breach since she had switched her photo with that of Tarleton.[3]

Later, Jix was interrogated by a seemingly friend Imperial official who questioned the youth about his knowledge of repeater services and info-houses. The official released him, leading Jix to believe that he had escaped the "long hand of the law." When Jix related his interrogation experience to Merei, she revealed that the Imperial authorities had not asked her those questions. Shortly later, Jix was arrested by an Imperial officer and two stormtroopers, who had deduced that he was connected to the Transportation Ministry data breach. After class, Merei took her chance to escape offworld with her parents and the Leonis family.[3]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

"Sorry about what happened back there. The other guys like to play a little rough, you know what I’m saying? But they don’t really mean it."
"I’m pretty sure they did."
"Well, I didn't."
―Hekyl apologizes to Spanjaf[src]

Hekyl and his friends considered the computer lab they used their kingdom, and when Merei Spanjaf entered they played rough with her and refused to help. After catching up to Spanjaf once she had left the lab, Hekyl was out of breath and looked unhappy to be out in the sun. He apologized for his friends' behavior, claiming neither he or they had meant what they said, and offered to help. While apologizing, Hekyl's cheeks blushed indigo. The Pantoran believed that what ever Spanjaf needed the snooper for was not his business and so did not ask, but warned her that getting a snooper would be risky and expensive. Hekyl had blue skin[1] and yellow eyes.[2]

Jix also used his slicing skills to gain work with the Gray Syndicate, a minor crime syndicate operating in Lothal's Capital City. He later used them to help his classmate Spanjaf hack into the Imperial data network on Lothal and to evade the Imperial authorities.[2] Hekyl's relationship with Merei deteriorated due to the latter's involvement in a raid on the Gray Syndicate's headquarters which killed many of his associates. However, he still agreed to help her to switch back her school photo. Unfortunately for Jix, his efforts were unsuccessful since the Imperial authorities had locked down the system.[3]

Despite his computer skills, Jix let his guard down when he was questioned by a seemingly friendly Imperial interrogator who questioned him about his knowledge of repeater services and info-houses. As a result, he was subsequently arrested him in connection with the investigation into the Transportation Ministry data breach.[3]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

While in the computer lab, Hekyl wore goggles and a headset.[1]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Jix Hekyl first appeared in Servants of the Empire: Rebel in the Ranks a novel by Jason Fry which was released in 2015.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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